Watson Chapel won’t enter 5A-South Conference play worrying about how to end a losing streak.
The Wildcats went on a 13-0 run into the fourth quarter to swing momentum their way and held on to defeat Dumas 52-46 Saturday in the second game of the Zebra Invitational. The win snapped a three-game slide for the Wildcats (5-7), who next will open conference play Friday at Camden Fairview.
“We had the attitude that we were going to go out there like we weren’t going to lose,” said guard Tevin Brown, who scored 14 points for Watson Chapel. “We had to go out and get that bad taste out of our mouths, like coach (Matt Busch) says.”
Jalen Courtney led the Wildcats with 16 points. Ben Marcus added eight points and six rebounds, while Xavier Young dominated the glass with 10 boards.
But Watson Chapel was challenged down the stretch.
Dumas (7-4) hit 6 of 10 free throws in the final period and clawed back to within 44-42 with 1:27 left. Brown then hit the first of two free throws with about 1 minute left, when Young rebounded the miss and made the putback. It was Young’s sixth offensive rebound of the game.
The Bobcats never got any closer after that, but got six of Martavian Ward’s 12 points in those final 87 seconds.
As the fourth quarter began with his team down 32-31, Busch looked for a sign from his players that they’d be able to come through in a close game.
“I told the guys, ‘Can you look me in the eye and tell me we’re going to win? Because too many times, I look you in the eyes, and I don’t get a sense that you guys believe you’re going to win.’ And the guys said, ‘Coach, we’re going to win.’”
The run that started with 30 seconds left in the third gave the Wildcats a 42-32 lead with 5:16 remaining in the game.
Dumas coach Johnny Hendrix said the Bobcats got away from their offense during Watson Chapel’s key run.
“Sometimes when pressure comes on young ballplayers, they get panicky, and we made some costly turnovers and took some bad shots,” he said.
Dontarius Stovall led Dumas with 13 points and seven rebounds. Ward grabbed a team-high eight boards.
Watson Chapel led 9-8 after one quarter and 20-18 at halftime. Neither team led by more than three points until Dumas went on an 8-0 run to take a 30-25 lead late in the third quarter. The Bobcats got most of their points in the quarter on second-chance baskets.
The Bobcats outrebounded the Wildcats 28-24.